Jeffers buys historic Jefferson Street building in downtown Milwaukee

777 N. Jefferson St. Photo by LoopNet

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:52 pm

Jeffers & Co., led by Milwaukee real estate developer Josh Jeffers, is continuing his pattern of purchasing historic buildings in downtown Milwaukee.

777 N. Jefferson St. Photo by LoopNet

In his latest move, Jeffers purchased the 158-year-old four-story building at 777 N. Jefferson St. Monday from Wauwatosa-based construction firm Selzer-Ornst Co. for an undisclosed price, according to Marnie Noel, vice president of asset management with J. Jeffers & Co.

The property is assessed by the city at $1.49 million.

The 19,000-square-foot building has about 7,000 square feet of vacant space available, including the garden level restaurant, which housed Dino’s Greek restaurant for nearly 20 years until Dino’s closed on Sunday.

“We love the look of the building,” Noel said. “The curb appeal, the double stairs, all of it is amazing. All of the tenants are creative-type groups and many have been in the building for more than 20 years, so the plan is to give the building some TLC and basic cosmetic work.”

Noel would like to lease the garden level to another retail tenant, preferably a restaurant serving coffee and breakfast.

“I would be open to talking to another bar, but it would be great to get a morning-geared tenant on the block,” Noel said.

The former mansion, known as the Matthew Keenan House, was built in 1860 for Keenan, a prominent businessman and civic leader, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. It is just the latest of a growing list of properties that Jeffers has acquired in Milwaukee.

In March, Jeffers purchased a 128-year-old four-story building, located at 518-22 N. Water St. for $1.4 million.

Jeffers has completed or is working on several historic building redevelopment projects in Milwaukee, including the Mitchell Building at 207 E. Michigan St. and the Mackie Building at 225 E. Michigan St.

He also plans to build a seven-story “mixed-use residential building” on a vacant lot on the block, which will be behind the 518-22 N. Water St. building.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities that fit the bill of being historic and activating blocks,” Noel said.

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